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Re: [ontolog-forum] metaphysis, semantics and the research program of on

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:38:48 -0500
Message-id: <4F75D388.4040905@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Mike,    (01)

> I think the semiotic dimension is an important one and could
> possibly be given some kind of formal treatment in modeling
> languages or in models somehow.    (02)

Yes.  More generally, every language is a system of signs, and every
model is also a system of signs.  Those signs are related to signs
inside the computer, and all of them have some relationship to reality,
directly or indirectly.    (03)

> Sometimes people seem to conflate these, or try to interpret ontological
> or semiotic issues by framing them in terms of meta-levels...    (04)

Metalevels can be important for many purposes, but that is just one kind
of semiotic relationship.  For more discussion of metalevels and their
relationship to semiotics, see the following two articles:    (05)

    Laws, Facts, and Contexts    (06)

    The role of logic and ontology in language    (07)

The rolelog.pdf article covers a lot of ground, but Section 2, called
A Semiotic Foundation for Ontology, is a brief intro to Peirce's
categories, including some issues about metalevels.    (08)

> Of course OWL already addresses the semiotic dimension by making
> everything a Thing.    (09)

Actually, the category Thing is just a placeholder for the top of the
hierarchy.  It maps to a predicate T(x), which is true of everything
and says nothing.    (010)

The major problem with OWL is that it cannot represent triadic
relations, and its use of dyadic relations is extremely limited.
Those limitations make it impossible to use OWL for defining or
even discussing anything related to social and institutional issues.    (011)

OWL is useful as a tool for exchanging terminologies.  But for
ontology, using OWL is like putting on blinders that make it
impossible to see anything that's not in front of your nose.    (012)

John    (013)

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